*Originally posted when blog was "Aige: Film and Television"*
***Class is in session***
A lot of people (mostly young people) have been saying "Sparkle looks like Dreamgirls". Over and over again. Well, if the only thing you're looking at is "girl group" and "costumes", then yes it may look like Dreamgirls to you, but first of all if you really look at the trailer, Sparkle is more about the struggle within the family of the main characters--while Dreamgirls was more about the struggle in the careers and friendships of the main characters.
Also, if you watch the original Sparkle movie that came out in 1976, you'd know this as well. I don't understand how people, especially Black Americans old and young cannot know this movie. It's been on BET, TVOne, BounceTV, UPN (before it was the CW of course), and it's simply a Black Cinema classic that came out during the "Blaxploitation" era. But of course, we all know that most people around my age, the "younger crowd" never cares about the original of anything or anything "old", or I'll be fair and also say that some simply just don't know (In that case I blame their parents. No, I'm just playin' lol.............).
But let's really get deep with it:
The original Sparkle came out in 1976. The film starred Irene Cara as Sparkle, Lonette McKee as Sister, and Dwan Smith as Dolores and Mary Alice played their mother Effie (yes, Effie). The story of the Supremes is what inspired this movie as well.
(This is absolutely my favorite photo of them)
Dreamgirls opened on Broadway in December of 1981. This show was based on the triumphs, tragedies, and musical careers of The Supremes, The Shirelles, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, and some others. It starred Sheryl Lee Ralph as Deena Jones, Jennifer Holiday as Effie White, and Loretta Divine as Lorelle Robinson.
Pre-production of the remake of Sparkle actually began over ten years ago. Whitney Houston, the executive producer wanted to cast Aaliyah in the lead role and Aaliyah agreed to doing it. Unfortunately, we all know what happened with that. When Aaliyah passed away, Whitney decided to put the film to the side and to the side was where it stayed for a long time.
Of course, in 2006 we saw Dreamgirls come to the big screen starring Beyonce as Deena Jones, Jennifer Hudson as Effie White, and Anika Noni Rose as Lorrell Robinson.
Now here we are in 2012, awaiting the release of the Sparkle remake starring Jordin Sparks as Sparkle, Carmen Ejogo as Sister, Tika Sumpter as Dolores, and Queen Whitney Houston as their mother Emma.
Now I'm not taking anything away from Dreamgirls (heck, like every other person who has seen it I know all the songs, most of choreography, and the dialogue) and I'm not saying that Dreamgirls copied Sparkle either.
I just want people to be aware while they're saying "Sparkle looks like Dreamgirls", "Sparkle is just another Dreamgirls" that not only are the two stories quite different, but in terms of these stories being brought to the screen/stage, 1976's Sparkle is what really started it all.
I think we all should thank the Supremes and the shady ways of Berry Gordy for these movies/the Broadway play as well.
Don't forget to go see Sparkle on August 17th!